Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Using Big Words For No Reason

While I was editing my novel, I decided that I needed to make myself sound a bit smarter. So, I decided to take a few of the words I was learning for the SAT (If you've studied for the SAT you'll know what I'm talking about) and peppered them over my writing.

Trust me. Don't do it. Later on, when I read it, in every single place where I had inserted one of those 'special words', it just sounded plain wrong. When your readers will come across that word, they'll think 'Huh?' and it'll just end up breaking the flow of your story. Yes, you should vary your vocabulary and try not to repeat the same phrases (Like saying 'Their lips locked' every time there's a kiss), but don't grab your thesaurus and sprinkle the most difficult-looking words all over your manuscript. It won't look natural, and trust me, if it sounds forced, it also tends to sound boring.

The same thing for the word 'said'. 'Said' is the only word that you can never overuse in your manuscript. It has a way of magically blending in with your dialogue so that your readers can concentrate only on what your characters say. The moment you insert something different in every other line, you are begging for your readers to grab the book and smack it over your head. Trust me, I inserted a dozen different words for 'said' into a chapter and saw what it looked like. Not pretty. Just leave 'said' as it is.

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